Campus COLL 300: Themes

Among the criteria adopted for the Campus COLL 300: "bring the world to W&M" through instructional content and significant involvement of students and faculty with COLL 300 campus visitors - a fruitful experience of disorientation that allows students to see their own lives in broader perspective.

The faculty have charged the Fellows in the Center for the Liberal Arts with determining semester-long themes for the campus COLL 300. These themes help to guide and focus subsequent faculty proposals for that semester's three campus COLL 300 visitors and provide a shared experience for enrolled students.

Theme for Fall 2017

IN / EXclusion  The processes of inclusion and exclusion involve both human and natural forms of curation. Who or what gains full or partial participation, or none? At the human level, consider excommunication and ecumenicalisms, outcasts and elites, the intellectual and creative margins and accepted canons. In the physical world, a foreign body enclosed in a mass, an inert or incendiary combination of elements. In architectural design, theories and policies of walls.

Theme for Spring 2018

Sustainability  Conceptions of sustainability range from the static, to the stable, to complex adaptive networks. The persistence or endurance of systems, processes, social constructs, and life itself requires the ability to change and evolve. As we seek to manage relations among humans, and between humans and the natural world, an understanding of sustainability will be vital to local, national, and global conversations and debates.

Theme for Fall 2018

Bodies That Matter  Whether exploring the complex interactions of celestial forces or contemporary questions of social justice, scholars recognize that all bodies exist within broader systems that create parameters of possibility for their significance and action. Fundamental questions include, how do some bodies exert disproportionate force? How are bodies conceptualized differently in distinct contexts across the globe? What chain reactions in knowledge, power, or organization ensue when new bodies are introduced into existing systems? How do bodies transform their surrounding environments? And how can scholars stimulate recognition of overlooked, undervalued, or alienated bodies? 

Theme for Spring 2019

Ceremony  Ceremony occurs in many forms and arenas, spanning the natural and cultural, the secular and sacred, and grounding the legitimacy of authority. The performance of ceremony expresses the accepted social order – and can mark transitions in that order – for individuals, groups, and nations. Ceremonies may include religious rituals, such as baptism, marriage, and pilgrimage, and state rites, such as the inauguration of political leaders and the execution of criminals. They may vary in scale from large public rites, such as the commemoration of important historical events or the opening of a new city shopping mall, to small private ceremonies, such as the celebration of a wedding anniversary or a funerary ritual.

Future Themes

We invite faculty members to consider proposing future campus COLL 300 themes. The next round of proposals will be announced in Fall 2017.

Ideally a theme should have sufficient breadth to provide points of entry for all the academic disciplines across Arts & Sciences. The semester courses attributed as COLL 300 will integrate both the theme and the public events presented by our COLL 300 visitors.

Fellows evaluate theme proposals in relation to the goals established for COLL 300: global or cross-cultural aspects, intellectual appeal across Arts & Sciences, and potential for integrating provocative and engaging COLL 300 visitors.